Running network cable

ceepan

Standard Member
I recently had FTTP installed in the house. The install meant that the ONT had to be installed at the front of the house. My son's room as at the back of the house and over WiFi he gets a signal but with slower speeds and ping.

I had been going to run some Ethernet from the router to his room and had hoped to use the route currently occupied by the telephone extension socket, or by the TV coaxial point. I tried pulling both of these but other than the small amount of extra cable tucked away they won't budge. Does this suggest that the cables have been clipped into position and that I have no chance of resuming these routes? If so running cable isn't an option until we next decorate. Is it worth looking at powerline? The adaptor next to the router will be on the ground floor and the one in my son's room will be first floor so they are on different ting mains circuits. Does that matter?

Thanks,
Paul
 

Arv4

Novice Member
I think most of the time you’ll find the cables have been clipped along the joists within houses - just standard practice which doesn’t help when you want to pull them through!
One potential option you might have is with the telephone extension socket - I’ve seen with newer build properties that builders just tend to use network cable (typically Cat 5e) and only use a few cores - may be possible to repurpose as a network socket/run?

Theres always options for running network cables - if not through the house - you could have an external run outside of your property - using suitable cable or conduit…
 

jimscreechy

Active Member
It isn't likely you will be able to 'pull' cables through your existing Telephone or TV coaxial in this manner. Unless (which is unlikely) the cables have been laid with the specific intention of allowing additions or changes to the run or, they are run cleaning through trunking. Cables tend to nestle, snag, and kink in ways that make it difficult to pull them, even on straight runs without being secured.

Running a CAT cable from A-B isn't always as bad as it may at first seem. I've done it on skirtings over doorframes with it being barely noticeable (with a small dab of hot glue to secure it invisibly at strategic points).

Powerline is a good option if an over surface run is unsuitable. They are generally pretty reliable and effective, though a quick browse through this forum will attest to them not being without the occasional issue of their own.

The BT install its a bit odd. If I'm not mistaken they do say 'the front of the property' is where the ONT will be installed, generally the installs seem to be done by third parties, but mine was done by BT openreach because of appointment cancellations and they said they'd install it anywhere I wanted.
 

ceepan

Standard Member
I think most of the time you’ll find the cables have been clipped along the joists within houses - just standard practice which doesn’t help when you want to pull them through!
One potential option you might have is with the telephone extension socket - I’ve seen with newer build properties that builders just tend to use network cable (typically Cat 5e) and only use a few cores - may be possible to repurpose as a network socket/run?

Theres always options for running network cables - if not through the house - you could have an external run outside of your property - using suitable cable or conduit…
The cable certainly looks like some sort of network cable but not sure if it is Cattle. The problem is that there are 6 telephone extension sockets all connected and I don't know how they are connected. I have identified the last one as it only has one piece of cable connected to it whereas the rest have 2.

I don't really fancy having cabling external as I that looks a bit messy on the outside of the house.

Thanks for your input though.
 

ceepan

Standard Member
My wife has already stated that any cabling needs to be hidden and above skirting would annoy her. The biggest problem would be getting it up the stairs.

I did have reservations about trying to pull through the existing cable runs. It is just frustrating that none of it has ever been used. I just wish the builder had considered running Ethernet.

Thanks for the suggestion though.
 

Arv4

Novice Member
A bit more complicated - I had assumed it was just a point to point telephone run…
working out what goes where - my approach would be to start disconnecting wires and see which telephone points stop working - however I’m sure there is probably a more professional way! You may get lucky at the two points are connected through a single run.

I forgot to ask - are you using the telephone points? If indeed they have used Ethernet cable - you can join the wires together through a coupler - although not ideal having joins - for a domestic property I don’t think it would cause any major issues.

Perhaps a picture of said sockets might help?

I wouldn’t discount external wires straight away - as mentioned use of conduit (can be black/white) straight up to the loft will allow you to then drop it down to any room in the house - assuming standard roof set up…
another way is running cable behind drain pipes to hide then - again to the roof.
 

ceepan

Standard Member
I am not using the telephone points as now that we have FTTP the telephone is VoIP, although the phone isn't actually connected for that as we never use the house phone.

In terms of checking the telephone points, as there is now no copper service none of the telephone points will work so testing them will be a bit of a problem.

I'll try and get a picture.

The house has no loft as the upper floor is in the roofspace with dormer windows so there is no option to get cabling up there to then drop unfortunately.
 

ceepan

Standard Member
Picture attached
 

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Arv4

Novice Member
You may be in luck! You need to undo the tape around the cable and confirm how many pairs of cable there are for the white cable - also confirm whether there is any marking on the cable - something like “cat 5e” hopefully!

In terms of testing - a continuity check would probably be simpler - if you have access to a simple multimeter - disconnect everything and join two cores together and test at the other end (of each socket to see where they go).
The other option would be to just terminate then with RJ45 sockets and test - simple tester is only around £10 - and the sockets a couple of quid each - but you just need to confirm where your main telephone line is coming from and disconnect - so it doesn’t cause any issues…

The sockets used appear to be modular - so you could potentially swap out the telephone socket and replace with a network one (assuming the cable is ok)
 

ChuckMountain

Distinguished Member
You may be in luck!

Unfortunately, I disagree that looks very much like a standard phone cable and comes with 4 pairs which are not suitable for use as networking cables. The diameter is also smaller compared to the coax than CAT5 would normally be.

As for Powerlines, I would always advise hardwiring as it removes any contention and any noise out of the system. Even the fastest Powerlines will struggle to get past 200Mbps in real-world speeds and may introduce a bit more latency for online gaming. If you are happy with those limitations then it is a possible consideration.
 
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ceepan

Standard Member
Unfortunately, I disagree that looks very much like a standard phone cable and comes with 3 pairs which are not suitable for use as networking cables. The diameter is also smaller compared to the coax than CAT5 would normally be.

As for Powerlines, I would always advise hardwiring as it removes any contention and any noise out of the system. Even the fastest Powerlines will struggle to get past 200Mbps in real-world speeds and may introduce a bit more latency for online gaming. If you are happy with those limitations then it is a possible consideration.
I have taken a picture of the socket that only has the one cable and there are 4 pairs of wires. However I doubt that it will be good quality cable possibly CCA as it doesn't appear to be copper coloured cores.
 

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ceepan

Standard Member
You may be in luck! You need to undo the tape around the cable and confirm how many pairs of cable there are for the white cable - also confirm whether there is any marking on the cable - something like “cat 5e” hopefully!

In terms of testing - a continuity check would probably be simpler - if you have access to a simple multimeter - disconnect everything and join two cores together and test at the other end (of each socket to see where they go).
The other option would be to just terminate then with RJ45 sockets and test - simple tester is only around £10 - and the sockets a couple of quid each - but you just need to confirm where your main telephone line is coming from and disconnect - so it doesn’t cause any issues…

The sockets used appear to be modular - so you could potentially swap out the telephone socket and replace with a network one (assuming the cable is ok)
I don't see any markings on the cable stating CAT5e but it has 4 pairs, although I doubt it is good quality. The sockets downstairs are modular with telephone and coaxial. The ones upstairs are single telephone sockets.

Are you saying that replacing telephone ones with RJ45 and punching the same cores of each colour from the 2 wires into the appropriate part of the socket may work?
 

ChuckMountain

Distinguished Member
I have taken a picture of the socket that only has the one cable and there are 4 pairs of wires. However I doubt that it will be good quality cable possibly CCA as it doesn't appear to be copper coloured cores.

Yep sorry getting confused with the fact that I can't count :) The phone cable can have 4 pairs sometimes, it doesn't look like the pairs are particularly twisted and the bends\wraps look more like phone cable which often doesn't have any markings on it.
 

jimscreechy

Active Member
Yep that looks like standard telecom twisted pair which doesn't meet Cat5 standards... however, I'm going with @Arv4 here, if that cable has a termination point close to the router for your BT fibre connection, I'm going to take that any day before I go with powerline adaptors .

...now I'll just duck and take cover before I get jumped by the cabling police that patrol this forum.
 

Arfa

Active Member
One option you could investigate to utilise that telephone cable is a G.hn device like this:

G.hn is basically a peer-to-peer protocol (similar to that used by Powerline adaptors), which works wells for telephone lines where often each room is daisy chained to the next. Unlike ethernet which needs a point-to-point topology.

Not used these, so can't vouch too much for them, and not cheap at £120 per socket, but they were on my list of options prior to biting the bullet and laying ethernet.

They claim to hit 2Gbps over standard twisted pair telephone wires, whilst still letting you use telephones. Similar to ADSL, it layers on a high frequency signal. Unlike Powerlines, it should also be less susceptible to interference, as there is little else sharing the wires (especially if you don't even have any analogue phones), and can cover greater distances. They had older models that were lower speed (1Gbps), which you may find cheaper.

There are a few other manufacturers of similar devices, however, when I researched them a few months ago the Solwise ones seemed most readily available here in the UK and at the best price.
 

ceepan

Standard Member
Yep that looks like standard telecom twisted pair which doesn't meet Cat5 standards... however, I'm going with @Arv4 here, if that cable has a termination point close to the router for your BT fibre connection, I'm going to take that any day before I go with powerline adaptors .

...now I'll just duck and take cover before I get jumped by the cabling police that patrol this forum.
There is a termination point next to the router which is why I was trying to reuse the existing cabling route. There are 6 telephone extensions in total. The one in the second picture appears to be the last one due to only one cable so that can be discounted. That leaves the other 5 that I would need to work out the route between the bedroom and the living room to wire correctly. I just wish I could have easily pulled some new cable through the existing routes and hard wired more devices.
 

ceepan

Standard Member
One option you could investigate to utilise that telephone cable is a G.hn device like this:

G.hn is basically a peer-to-peer protocol (similar to that used by Powerline adaptors), which works wells for telephone lines where often each room is daisy chained to the next. Unlike ethernet which needs a point-to-point topology.

Not used these, so can't vouch too much for them, and not cheap at £120 per socket, but they were on my list of options prior to biting the bullet and laying ethernet.

They claim to hit 2Gbps over standard twisted pair telephone wires, whilst still letting you use telephones. Similar to ADSL, it layers on a high frequency signal. Unlike Powerlines, it should also be less susceptible to interference, as there is little else sharing the wires (especially if you don't even have any analogue phones), and can cover greater distances. They had older models that were lower speed (1Gbps), which you may find cheaper.

There are a few other manufacturers of similar devices, however, when I researched them a few months ago the Solwise ones seemed most readily available here in the UK and at the best price.
I will have a look into this but it does seem quite expensive. Thanks for the information.
 

jimscreechy

Active Member
Yes, you really want to trace where that point near the router runs directly to, (the first junction to an extension) as since only 2 pairs are used its unlikely that any spurs from it will have all 4 pairs wired. Strictly speaking there shouldn't be any such 'joins' in ethernet cabling, but where already outside the bounds of any serious scrutiny here so no point in kicking up a fuss... just crack on and do it.
 

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